Sunday, January 27, 2013

Opposition and impatience

Opposition and impatience
Sun 27 Jan. 2013, 12:00 CAT

It is said that ifintu ni bwangu, but sometimes this is taken too far. In kiSwahili, they say subira huvuta heri, meaning "patience brings happiness". Others say patience is a virtue.

We are seeing a lot of impatience in the nation. Some people are demanding all sorts of things to be done or delivered in no time. Demanding, we should all be. But we have to be realistic about it. There are things that can be done in a second, a minute, an hour, a day, a week, a month, a year. But there are other things that need many seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks or years to do. It is unreasonable to demand something that takes minutes to accomplish to be done in a second and so on and so forth.

Equally, it normally takes five years to get to the next elections and change government. But there are some people who think they can change a government soon after the elections. They don't seem to have the patience to wait for five years to defeat their political opponents at the next elections. You may not like this government, but all things being equal, this will be your government until 2016. And democracy demands patience. If one is not patient, there is the danger of resorting to other means of changing government other than elections. This may be acceptable in certain justifiable circumstances, but the reasons for doing so have to be accepted by the great majority of the people. And this is only justifiable in very rare historical circumstances. But generally periodic elections are the only acceptable way of changing government.

We are seeing very worrying levels of impatience in the opposition. They are acting as if we are going to the polls before the end of this year to elect a new government.

We know those in the opposition would like to get into government as soon as possible. Like most of us, they want to get where they want to get s fast as they can. But there is need to bear in mind that too swift is as untimely as too slow. The situation that seems urgent seldom is. Haste slows every dream and opens the door to failure. The more haste, the less speed.

What good is running if you are headed in the wrong direction? It's more important to know where you are going than to see how fast you get there. Impatient people always get there too late. We undo ourselves by impatience.

One of the most frequent causes of failure is impatience. "The haste of a fool is the slowest thing in the world," remarked Thomas Shadwell.

Whoever is in a hurry shows that the thing he or she is doing is too big for him or her. Impatience is one big "get-ahead-ache".

There is a time to let things happen and a time to make things happen. They say life is lived in seasons, which means we are to do different things at different times. Do the right thing at the right time. A Chinese proverb says, "Never leave your field in spring or your house in winter."
God never sends a winter without the joy of spring, the growth of summer, or the harvest of fall. It's better to be a good finisher, and never to claim a victory prematurely. It is said that the greatest assassin of dreams is haste, the desire to reach things before the right time.

"Time sure changes things," an airline passenger told his companion. "When I was a boy I used to sit in a flat-bottom rowboat and fish in the lake down there below us. Every time a plane flew over, I could look up and wish I were in it. Now I look down and wish I were fishing."

Being at the right place at the right time makes all the difference. How important is timely? Theodore Roosevelt said, "Nine-tenths of wisdom is being wise in time."

Today we see the opposition trying all sorts of things, meeting this and that obstacle. One wonders, what are they up to? What do they want to achieve? Yes, they have their goals, and legitimately so. But the way we want to achieve our goals is dictated by many factors, circumstances or conditions. And in politics this is where the issue of political strategy and tactics comes in.

It is unquestionable, and dialectics teaches us that what in a given moment is a correct method, strategy or tactic, later on may be an incorrect one. That is what dialectics teaches us. It is a desire to apply measures which were determined by our special needs at a given moment to another situation in which the needs are different, in which other circumstances prevail. If that was a truth which was self-evident, could we then apply methods which were applicable to other conditions? Could we convert into a system those methods which the needs of the politics of a specific phase demanded?
God is a planner, a strategist; He is incredibly organised and has a definite flow and pace. God has a right balance for our lives. There is actually a rhythm He wants us to live by: "Whoever believes will not act hastily" (Isaiah 28:16).

Pressure usually accompanies us when we are out of the pace of God. Proverbs 16:9 says, "We should make plans - counting on God to direct us." Proverbs 16:3 promises, "Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed."

Adopt the pace of God; His secret is patience. All great achievements require time. Happiness is the right direction, not a final destination.

Again, urgent matters are seldom urgent. If you burn your candle at both ends, you are not as bright as you think. Like a candle, we must keep cool and burn at the same time.

There is no time lost in waiting if you are waiting for the right thing. Every great person first learned how to obey, whom to obey and when to obey.


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